Definition of Statue of Liberty Play

What does the term "Statue of Liberty Play" mean in the world of football? What is meant by a "Statue of Liberty Play"?

In football, the "Statue of Liberty" is a trick play that you will see occasionally in the NFL and college football.

With the traditional Statue of Liberty play, a quarterback will receive the snap while gripping the ball with both hands, as they always do.

The quarterback will then transfer the ball to their non-throwing hand and fake a throw with their other hand.

While faking the throw, a member of the quarterback's team will run behind them and receive the hand-off.

In most cases, the Statue of Liberty play will fool the defense, as they are expecting the quarterback to throw the ball.

The downside? The move is tough to execute and requires practice. There are a number of things that can go wrong with the move, such as a fumble or poorly executing the fake, which would allow the defense to quickly tackle the offensive player who receives the ball.


The move was reportedly first called by Amos Alonzo Stagg, who coached a number of college football teams in the late 1800s and 1900s.